County council leader issues stark warning

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Coronavirus updates for Essex on Gateway 97.8

#StayHomeSaveLives

The Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr David Finch, and the County’s Public Health Chief Dr Mike Gogarty have sent a powerful email message to 70,000 Essex residents urging them to stay home amid the Coronavirus crisis.

With numbers of cases and deaths due to the virus continuing to rise nationally, Cllr Finch has urged people to follow the Government’s and stay home, unless absolutely necessary.

Cllr Finch said:

“We are facing the biggest challenge of our times. Coronavirus is a killer. If we do nothing, 500,000 people across our great country will die. But that horrendous outcome will not happen, provided we act.

“The Government has issued good advice. But not all of us are following it, this is not good enough. We must heed the advice from Government to stay home as there is no doubt that this will save lives.

“Across Essex this weekend, we have seen people behaving in a way which was very much like going about their usual business and this is not acceptable.”

As part of the effort to stop the spread, last week it was announced that all UK schools would be closing, but spaces would be available for children of key workers and those with an ECHP. However, the Government has made it clear that if you fit this criteria, you should only send your children to school as a last resort.

Cllr Finch said:

“Even though some schools across Essex will stay open, you should only take your children to them, if you have been notified that you are a critical worker and if you absolutely have no other option.”

Cllr Finch has also expressed his concern for the NHS.

He said:

“If the epidemic peaks, as it has in Italy, which has a world-class health system, the NHS will be overwhelmed. We must not allow the ‘peak’ of the epidemic to outstrip the NHS’s capacity to care. Every single one of us can ensure that this nightmare scenario does not happen.

“In China, and South Korea, the spread of the virus has been kept in check because Governments have acted quickly enough, and people have followed advice. We must follow suit. Our great County of Essex has always risen to the challenges over the decades. This is the greatest one of our times.”

Please, follow the advice. Stay Home. Save Lives. #StayHomeSaveLives

The full letter sent to residents can be found here- https://www.essex.gov.uk/news/a-matter-of-life-and-death

The latest advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Public Health England (PHE) and NHS websites.

You can find out about impacts on our services on the Essex County Council website.

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